As a professional advocate for children, I am saddened and appalled by the obesity epidemic in children.
The younger generation actually may not live as long as their parents…this is sickening…because we have the knowledge. But our social programs, our big businesses that make their money selling non-nutritional foods, and our own will power detours us onto the road to OBESITY.
The response to the Vogue mom’s efforts were fast and furious severely criticizing her approach to her daughter’s weight.
While I agree that some of the situations that this mom describes are not ideal, it seems that she had her daughter’s best interest at heart.
As parents, we all know that at times dealing with our kids, no matter what their age, can actually bring out the worst in us.
We do and say things that we regret. I cannot imagine putting a 7 year old little girl on a diet without some bad behavior on both parts…mom and daughter.
What has been your experience with your own “bad” behaviors when dealing with your child’s behavior?
My response to this mother-daughter weight loss story is this…it seems to be an honest story…the outcome for the child was good in that she did lose weight and is probably physically more healthy.
HOWEVER...I can also say that some of the ways mom dealt with her 7 year old daughter’s diet may produce lasting emotional effects on her and they may not be healthy ones. Only time will tell…
It is said that children are ‘resilient’ and bounce back from adversity…many times, they do but not without scars.
I would also say, thank-you to this mom for sharing her very personal experience with her daughter so that other moms might learn from her story.
Finally, “Mom …you hopefully did the best you could and your daughter is now healthier for it. Hopefully no long term harm done!”
The following are some of the responses to the Vogue article:
The stats on childhood obesity are sobering: 1 in 3 U.S. kids weighs too much. In the April issue of Vogue, we learn about one of them. Her name is Bea, and it’s pretty hard not to imagine her growing up to really, really hate her mother.
Helping a child who weighs too much now, but still needs to keep growing, is a challenge that there’s more than one way to meet, and there is obviously more than one difference between these two children and families. Yet I’m struck by this one: the Reids suggest that it’s possible to shift to healthier habits together, and support each other through the moments when it just doesn’t feel like a single Oreo will do. Ms. Weiss seems to argue that sometimes, a parent has to force her child to do what she knows is best, and that children are not always going to willingly go along with the program.Can a parent’s demands create long-term change in a child, or does a successful healthy relationship with food have to come from within at any age?
I called Dr. Dolgoff, the founder of “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right,” the Weight Watchers-style program that Bea based her diet upon, to hear what she thought of the piece. She said that while Weiss “clearly loved and wanted the best for her daughter,” she “wasnt thrilled” by the article, especially since it somewhat misleadingly portrayed her program, which focuses on empowering children, stresses that parents refrain from embarrassing their kids in public, and allows kids a number of indulgences to enjoy with friends. “The program has to be run by the child,” she said, “and the truth is that making a child feel bad only causes problems. Its not going to help with weight loss, and its definitely not going to help the child emotionally.”
For Bea, the achievement is bittersweet. When I ask her if she likes how she looks now, if she’s proud of what she’s accomplished, she says yes…Even so, the person she used to be still weighs on her. Tears of pain fill her eyes as she reflects on her year-long journey. “That’s still me,” she says of her former self. “I’m not a different person just because I lost sixteen pounds.” I protest that, indeed, she is different. At this moment, that fat girl is a thing of the past. A tear rolls down her beautiful cheek, past the glued-in feather. “Just because it’s in the past,” she says, “doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”